‘The Giving Tree’: Tender Story of Unconditional Love or Disturbing Tale of Selfishness?
Anna Holmes and Rivka Galchen reconsider Shel Silverstein’s classic, published 50 years ago.
The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
Sylvia's mother was a 1972 single by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show that was written by Shel Silverstein that tells the true story of Shel's girlfriend Sylvia Pandolfi Silverstein admitted that there was a real Sylvia, and he did indeed call her mother to learn the shocking truth. He even thought of pulling a Mrs. Robinson and disrupting the wedding, but he came to his senses when thinking about Sylvia's last words to him: "Shel, don't spoil it." She would never become Mrs. Sylvia Silverstein. The video is a short documentary about the song with interviews from Sylvia's mother and Sylvia Pandolfi. [more inside]
An Impolite Interview with Shel Silverstein from The Realist, August 1961. "There were some pretty horrendous experiences in the YMCA, too. Because at the time I thought this was a place where all the he-men gather. Where young Christian men gather, and you know. And it's not quite like that. It makes Sixth Avenue and 8th Street late at night look like a cub scout meeting. Q. For the Benefit of our out-of-town readers, could you be more specific? A. Faggots!" [more inside]
The Giving Tree (1973), animated short based on Shel Silverstein's 1964 children's story and narrated by the author. [more inside]
Hearing Voices [prev, prev] has a devilishly viscera-soaked Halloween broadcast: Bloody Hell: The First Half is Bloody. The Second Half We Go to Hell. So, turn the lights out, press play, and grab your favorite token of comfort. (It won't help.) [more inside]
Shel Silverstein, songwriter. "A Boy Named Sue," as performed by Johnny Cash; "One's on the Way," performed by Loretta Lynn; "The Unicorn Song" performed by the Irish Rovers. (All YouTube links) [more inside]
"If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer..." ShelSilverstein.com bills itself as "the Official Site for Kids" but, if you're familiar with Sheldon Allan Silverstein's ecclectic career, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy it. Shel was best known for his books and poetry, but he was also a prolific songwriter, working extensively with Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show [sorry, Tripod link]. He also wrote Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue" and was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2002. More songs and stories here. And his amazingly extensive Wikipedia page is here.
Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book - along with The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Max und Moritz, and Der Struwwelpeter (previously discussed here and here) - are classics in the genre of children's books that are likely to disturb sensitive adults. Of course, Barbar isn't much better, and neither is Mickey Mouse, but at least they're not trying to conquer the human race [via Boing Boing]. What is it about corrupted innocence that's so darn funny?
'The Father of the Boy Named Sue' Shel Silverstein's follow-up to his Cash hit-maker, 'A Boy Named Sue', ends in terrifying innuendo.
David Mamet misses Shel Silverstein (NYT link). But, really, who doesn't?